Safe to say, the week of Sept. 30 has been dramatic. Well, gear up for another doozy, because it turns out another head official is involved in the Trump administration's controversy. So, who was on Trump's Ukraine call? U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spilled some details.
The Trump administration has faced intense criticism from the public following a Sept. 18 report from The Washington Post about a phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Well, it turns out Trump and Zelensky weren't the only two on that phone call, because Sec. Mike Pompeo confirmed on Wednesday, Oct. 2, that he, along with a myriad of U.S. officials, listened in on the call. "I was on the phone call," Pompeo told reporters during a press conference in Rome.
Despite Pompeo's statement, he chose not to answer any questions about the conversation and didn't elaborate on what was discussed, per The New York Times. Elite Daily reached out to the U.S. Department of State for comment on Pompeo listening in on the conversation, but did not hear back in time for publication.
Trump's conversation with Zelensky received criticism from fellow politicians, seeing as the president suggested that a foreign government investigate his potential 2020 campaign opponent, Vice President Joe Biden. A non-verbatim transcript of the conversation released by the White House on Sept. 25 showed Trump asking Zelensky to look into why prosecutors had decided to stop investigating Vice President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden's business dealings in Ukraine. "There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great," Trump said on the call, per the transcript. In a statement shared with Elite Daily, Biden replied that he would not focus his 2020 campaign on "how Donald Trump abused his power to come after my family, but on how he has turned his back on America's families." He added that the "House must do its job" in holding Trump to account.
The phone call prompted House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to announce on Sept. 24 that the House was opening an official impeachment inquiry into Trump. In an emailed statement to Elite Daily, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham described the inquiry as Democrats' way to "weaponize politics" and added there is "nothing new here."
Tensions only got more heated on Sept. 26, when the House Intelligence Committee released the whistleblower complaint, which first broke the news of Trump's phone call with Zelensky. In the complaint, the whistleblower alleged that they had received information from "multiple U.S. government officials" that Trump attempted to "solicit interference from a foreign country to investigate one of the president's domestic political rivals"— specifically Biden. In addition, the whistleblower alleged that White House lawyers attempted to withhold records of the phone call by ordering staffers to "remove the electronic transcript from the computer system" and instead store them in a separate database meant for sensitive information.
Trump has denied that the phone call represents any wrongdoing. In an emailed statement to Elite Daily on Sept. 26, Grisham described the complaint as "a collection of third hand accounts." The statement read,
The President took the extraordinary and transparent steps of releasing the full, unredacted, and declassified transcript of his call with President Zelensky, which forms the heart of the complaint, as well as the complaint itself. That is because he has nothing to hide. The White House will continue to push back on the hysteria and false narratives being peddled by Democrats and many in the main stream media, and President Trump will continue to work hard on behalf of the American people as he always does.
Another day, another twist in this ongoing political saga. Due to Pompeo revealing he had listened in on the controversial Ukraine phone call, I wouldn't be surprised if the House Intelligence Committee is interested in hearing what he has to say about the matter.